Luke 24* The resurrection of Christ. (1-12) He appears to two discipleson the way to Emmaus. (13-27) And makes himself known to them.(28-35) Christ appears to the other disciples. (36-49) Hisascension. (50-53)1-12 See the affection and respect the women showed to Christ,after he was dead and buried. Observe their surprise when theyfound the stone rolled away, and the grave empty. Christiansoften perplex themselves about that with which they shouldcomfort and encourage themselves. They look rather to find theirMaster in his grave-clothes, than angels in their shininggarments. The angels assure them that he is risen from the dead;is risen by his own power. These angels from heaven bring notany new gospel, but remind the women of Christ's words, andteach them how to apply them. We may wonder that thesedisciples, who believed Jesus to be the Son of God and the trueMessiah, who had been so often told that he must die, and riseagain, and then enter into his glory, who had seen him more thanonce raise the dead, yet should be so backward to believe hisraising himself. But all our mistakes in religion spring fromignorance or forgetfulness of the words Christ has spoken. Peternow ran to the sepulchre, who so lately ran from his Master. Hewas amazed. There are many things puzzling and perplexing to us,which would be plain and profitable, if we rightly understoodthe words of Christ. 13-27 This appearance of Jesus to the two disciples going toEmmaus, happened the same day that he rose from the dead. Itwell becomes the disciples of Christ to talk together of hisdeath and resurrection; thus they may improve one another'sknowledge, refresh one another's memory, and stir up eachother's devout affections. And where but two together are wellemployed in work of that kind, he will come to them, and make athird. Those who seek Christ, shall find him: he will manifesthimself to those that inquire after him; and give knowledge tothose who use the helps for knowledge which they have. No matterhow it was, but so it was, they did not know him; he so orderingit, that they might the more freely discourse with him. Christ'sdisciples are often sad and sorrowful, even when they havereason to rejoice; but through the weakness of their faith, theycannot take the comfort offered to them. Though Christ isentered into his state of exaltation, yet he notices the sorrowsof his disciples, and is afflicted in their afflictions. Thoseare strangers in Jerusalem, that know not of the death andsufferings of Jesus. Those who have the knowledge of Christcrucified, should seek to spread that knowledge. Our Lord Jesusreproved them for the weakness of their faith in the Scripturesof the Old Testament. Did we know more of the Divine counsels asfar as they are made known in the Scriptures, we should not besubject to the perplexities we often entangle ourselves in. Heshows them that the sufferings of Christ were really theappointed way to his glory; but the cross of Christ was that towhich they could not reconcile themselves. Beginning at Moses,the first inspired writer of the Old Testament, Jesus expoundedto them the things concerning himself. There are many passagesthroughout all the Scriptures concerning Christ, which it is ofgreat advantage to put together. We cannot go far in any part,but we meet with something that has reference to Christ, someprophecy, some promise, some prayer, some type or other. Agolden thread of gospel grace runs through the whole web of theOld Testament. Christ is the best expositor of Scripture; andeven after his resurrection, he led people to know the mysteryconcerning himself, not by advancing new notions, but by showinghow the Scripture was fulfilled, and turning them to the earneststudy of it. 28-35 If we would have Christ dwell with us, we must be earnestwith him. Those that have experienced the pleasure and profit ofcommunion with him, cannot but desire more of his company. Hetook bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. This hedid with his usual authority and affection, with the samemanner, perhaps with the same words. He here teaches us to cravea blessing on every meal. See how Christ by his Spirit and gracemakes himself known to the souls of his people. He opens theScriptures to them. He meets them at his table, in the ordinanceof the Lord's supper; is known to them in breaking of bread. Butthe work is completed by the opening of the eyes of their mind;yet it is but short views we have of Christ in this world, butwhen we enter heaven, we shall see him for ever. They had foundthe preaching powerful, even when they knew not the preacher.Those Scriptures which speak of Christ, will warm the hearts ofhis true disciples. That is likely to do most good, whichaffects us with the love of Jesus in dying for us. It is theduty of those to whom he has shown himself, to let others knowwhat he has done for their souls. It is of great use for thedisciples of Christ to compare their experiences, and tell themto each other. 36-49 Jesus appeared in a miraculous manner, assuring thedisciples of his peace, though they had so lately forsaken him,and promising spiritual peace with every blessing. Manytroublesome thoughts which disquiet our minds, rise frommistakes concerning Christ. All the troublesome thoughts whichrise in our hearts at any time, are known to the Lord Jesus, andare displeasing to him. He spake with them on their unreasonableunbelief. Nothing had passed but what was foretold by theprophets, and necessary for the salvation of sinners. And nowall men should be taught the nature and necessity of repentance,in order to the forgiveness of their sins. And these blessingswere to be sought for, by faith in the name of Jesus. Christ byhis Spirit works on the minds of men. Even good men need to havetheir understandings opened. But that we may have right thoughtsof Christ, there needs no more than to be made to understand theScriptures. 50-53 Christ ascended from Bethany, near the Mount of Olives.There was the garden in which his sufferings began; there he wasin his agony. Those that would go to heaven, must ascend thitherfrom the house of sufferings and sorrows. The disciples did notsee him rise out of the grave; his resurrection could be provedby their seeing him alive afterwards: but they saw him ascendinto heaven; they could not otherwise have a proof of hisascension. He lifted up his hands, and blessed them. He did notgo away in displeasure, but in love, he left a blessing behindhim. As he arose, so he ascended, by his own power. Theyworshipped him. This fresh display of Christ's glory drew fromthem fresh acknowledgments. They returned to Jerusalem withgreat joy. The glory of Christ is the joy of all true believers,even while they are here in this world. While waiting for God'spromises, we must go forth to meet them with our praises. Andnothing better prepares the mind for receiving the Holy Ghost.Fears are silenced, sorrows sweetened and allayed, and hopeskept up. And this is the ground of a Christian's boldness at thethrone of grace; yea, the Father's throne is the throne of graceto us, because it is also the throne of our Mediator, JesusChrist. Let us rely on his promises, and plead them. Let usattend his ordinances, praise and bless God for his mercies, setour affections on things above, and expect the Redeemer's returnto complete our happiness. Amen. Even so, Lord Jesus, comequickly.
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